The Arctic: Breaking the Ice festival begins in Murmansk
© Ekaterina Sytina

The Arctic: Breaking the Ice festival begins in Murmansk

The second national forum and festival The Arctic: Breaking the Ice has started in Murmansk, bringing together 200 volunteers from 89 regions of Russia, as well as from abroad.

Governor of the Murmansk Region Andrei Chibis attended the opening ceremony in person to greet the volunteers. In his remarks, he said that the forum offers an ideal platform for “discussing efforts to offer a favorable environment for future professionals and specialists who have the expertise” we need to develop the northern regions.

“The project we are launching today pursues specific objectives and it is up to us to deliver on them. These include Arctic tourism, environmental protection, modern technology for monitoring the marine environment, development of the Northern Sea Route and protection for designated natural sites,” Murmansk Region Governor Andrei Chibis said.

The governor also read out a message of greetings from President Vladimir Putin, who wrote that the state has been paying special attention over the past years to promoting “the exploration and harmonious development of the Arctic, while preserving its unique natural richesses.”

“It is notable that volunteers, students and representatives of public organizations and businesses, who are energetic and caring people with a responsible stand in society and life, are actively contributing to dealing with these challenging issues,” the President wrote in his message.

The message went on to say that volunteers helped clean up 110 hectares of Arctic land and remove over 5,000 metric tons of waste.

The delegates also received written messages of greetings from Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev and Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic Alexei Chekunkov.

“The Arctic: Breaking the Ice forum is a unique platform for coming up with solutions to the key issues on the climate and environmental agenda, including Northern Sea Route development and marine environment monitoring, the operation of specially protected natural areas and a major effort to clean up the Arctic,” the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out.

Leaders of the Clean Arctic civil-society initiative Ruslan Gubaidullin and Andrei Nagibin addressed the volunteers in person.

“I am calling on you to focus during the forum on receiving a boost of energy and becoming even more active, since the best of you will get to travel to a very interesting place,” Andrei Nagibin pointed out in his remarks.

“For us, volunteers are more than just people involved in clean-up initiatives. They are those who can take the good and positive things they do back to their families. I hope that you will keep the best memories from this forum,” Ruslan Gubaidullin added.

This forum and festival will run until June 25 as part of Russia’s 2021-2023 Arctic Council chairmanship. The Roscongress Foundation acts as the operator of the events organized during Russia’s chairmanship.